Beating ISIS – US Forces Moving In Syria

 In Foreign, Military

The Marines have departed their ships in the 11th MEU, and are on the ground with artillery in Syria. The Defense Department would not say how many of them are there. Then there are the US Army Stryker vehicles that were spotted near Manbij, which required Col John Dorrian, OIR spokesman, to respond. Is the US Department of Defense now going after ISIS and even Al-Qaeda with a vengeance?

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Marine from the 11th MEU fires a howizter during an exercise in December 2016 (U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Zachery C. Laning)

Taking the fight to ISIS

Military.com reported,

A defense official would not speak to the size of the detachment deployed to Syria, but said it included elements of multiple artillery batteries, as well as support personnel, including infantry Marines. It’s the first time American artillery support capability has been on the ground in Syria since the fight against the Islamic State began in 2014.

The Marines are equipped with M777 155mm howitzers, which can fire high-explosive rounds, effective at a range of more than 14 miles, or GPS-guided Excalibur rounds, which have an effective radius of up to 25 miles. They are there to provide capabilities for the commanders of the joint task force leading the ISIS fight and to support the push into Raqqa, the official said.

On Monday a militia backed by US troops took control of a strategic road out of Raqqa, the defacto “capitol” of ISIS in Syria. A surge of US troops in Syria and Iraq was one of the options proposed to the Trump Administration as a solution for taking out ISIS. While there has been no official word of whether they have accepted that plan, it appears that something major is happening.

Meanwhile in Manbij, US Army Special Forces have been attempting to head off the conflicts between rival armies that have converged on the town. A humanitarian convoy of Assad’s government brought in aid with the US approval, even though they had armored equipment with them. The convergence of  Assad’s army, US army, and rebel militias, could have become a nightmare of conflict without the presence of the US Special Forces.

DoDBuzz reported

Davis said the convoy’s safe passage had been worked out through the same channels used by Russia and the U.S. to “deconflict” their air operations over Syria. The movement of the convoy “has not changed anything we are doing, which is we continue to focus on defeating ISIS.”

Airstrikes in Yemen

The United States conducted more than 40 air strikes in Yemen against Al-Qaeda after the raid that killed Navy Seal William Ryan Owens. AQAP, or Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, has long been regarded as one of the most dangerous of the terror groups. The airstrikes targeted Al-Qaeda leaders and their bases of operation.

The campaign is aimed at reversing the terrorist group’s hold on Southern Yemen, which has increased and flourished since the Iran-backed Houthis took over Sanaa in 2014.

Finally, it appears that the United States is willing to smash the terrorists who have wreaked havoc all over the world. Obama’s lack of response allowed them to grow and prosper. That day appears to be over.

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